ID #1013

According to the Jewish custom at the supper the groom would invite guests (friends) to come and see his bride. When Christ presents his bride (church) to the world; who are the guests?

We must recognize that there is a danger to trying to fit scriptural prophecy into tradition or custom.  This is the mistake the Pharisees made when Jesus criticized them for substituting the commands of God for the traditions of men. (Mark 7:8)  So, it is somewhat of a stretch to say that because Jewish tradition required the presentation of the bride - that this would be necessary of the bride of Christ.
However, there are several references that indicate that when the millennial reign of Christ begins (with His bride) that there will be others living on the earth that survived the 70th week of Daniel.  For instance, Isaiah speaks of nations learning of God's ways when His kingdom is finally established...

Isaiah 2:2 (NIV) In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (emphasis added)

There are other passages that indicate that there will be interaction between Israel or God's people and the other nations...

Isaiah 60:11 (NIV) Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations-- their kings led in triumphal procession.

Isaiah 66:19 (NIV) "I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations--to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD--on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels," says the LORD. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the LORD in ceremonially clean vessels. 21 And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites," says the LORD. 22 "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD. 24 "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."  (emphasis added)

Micah 4:2 (NIV) Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Zephaniah 2:11 (NIV) The LORD will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the land. The nations on every shore will worship him, every one in its own land.

Zechariah 2:10 (NIV) "Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. 11 "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.

Zechariah 14:16 (NIV) Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

Therefore, it seems there will be many witnesses or guests to whom the bride of Christ may be presented.  Now, whether guests are necessary is not certain, but the indication is that there will be plenty of people left who are not the bride that could be those in attendance.  Several times in prophecies God would speak through His prophets and make a statement like "so that all nations will know that I am the Lord."  This could also be a fulfillment of the end of time when God will once again rule this earth personally - and this presentation of the bride would fit well into that prophetic ideal.

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Last update: 2008-11-25 17:06
Author: Elbert Charpie
Revision: 1.0

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